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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.
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What do i need to know before my tripawd puppy arrives???
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Forum Posts: 8
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7 March 2010
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7 March 2010 - 10:38 pm
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my mothers golden retriever had a litter of 8 puppies this past friday (March 5, 2010)The first 7 pups are normal healthy little monsters!!!! the 8th pup however was born without his right front legsf-cry of course my husband and i instantly fell in LOVE with him and when he is ready he is coming to live with us and our other 2 dogs. i couldnt bear the thought of him going to a home where i wouldnt know if he was being properly taken care of….he is only days old and i call my mother at least 5 times a day now checking in to see how he is doing…. i know that he will learn to use what he has… im just wondering if there are any major differences in caring for him???? he has the whole shoulder mechanisim clear down to his elbow and it almost looks as if there is a paw pad on the tip if the elbow… im sure as he grows we will get a better idea as to how that leg is going to develop…. i was just wondering if anyone has any tips for me??
all i know is that he is amazing and we already love him and are ready for him to come home!!!!

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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8 March 2010 - 3:07 am
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Bless you for wanting to care for the little guy.  His life should be that of any four leg fur child.  I would have two concerns at this point, how does he use the stump? and long term joint care.  I mention the stump because it could be more of a hinderance than a help, and you may choose at some point to amputate.  And because of the odd gate of the three legs, there is a lot of stress on the joints.  There is a recent topic (this weekend) posted by Comet about her deformity (also front leg) and the resulting surgeries (rear legs).

Tripawds are the most amazing animals.  You will have a happy life with a tripawd in tow!

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

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8 March 2010 - 6:25 am
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He sounds wonderful! He should do great on 3 legs. You are wonderful for giving him a loving home! I agree with Shana – a joint supplement would be a good idea. He will amaze you with all he can do!

Holly joined the world of tripawds on 12/29/2009. She has a big little sister, Zuzu, who idolizes Holly and tries to make all of her toys into tripawds in Holly's honor. And she's enjoying life one hop at a time!

http://anyemery.....ipawds.com

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8 March 2010 - 11:27 am
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thank you very much guys!
i know that he does use his stump as of right now… he uses it to push right through his brothers and sisters to get milk!!! he is a strong little guy and already amazes me… he is the second largest pup in the litter… i thought we may have to help him and make sure he was eating enough but he takes care of that on his own…. like i said hes not even a week old so im sure as the weeks go by we will be able to tell how the stump is going to develop… but he uses it pretty well for now….
as for the joint supplements… at what point should i start him on them??? later in his life or right from the start???

oh and by the way we decided last night to name him Grizlee… and he will come home to his big sister Nilla (golden retriever) and big brother Tank (border collie mix)!!!! smiley4

The Rainbow Bridge



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8 March 2010 - 11:53 am
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Awwww, you're so sweet Goldenmomma! Thank you for giving this beautiful pup a chance. Grizlee is a terrific name! Welcome to our community. We really look forward to watching Grizlee grow up, I don't think we've ever had a pup here who became a member practically from the day he was born. Be sure to start a Tripawds blog too so that everyone can see how he progresses.

Here is the link that Comet started, “Tripawds with Deformities of the Leg” Talk about a pro, Comet knows all about what it's like to grow up with a stump.

He will most likely adapt very naturally to it, but I do agree with Trouble; keep an eye on making sure that it doesn't get in the way (see what Comet has to say about that). Another key is to keep his weight down. For Tripawds, it's especially critical that they stay slim.

As for supplements; check out this Tripawd News blog post we did, Supplement Tips from CARE. Dr. Waldman believes that you should only give supplements as they are needed when conditions arise that call for them. Check out the 3-part video series about canine rehab, they have some GREAT advice.

Lastly, be sure to check out our Top Questions about what to expect with a Tripawd. While many of these questions are geared toward older dogs who become Tripawds later in life, and/or battling cancer, I'm sure you'll find some good tips there too:

What to Expect Part 1
What to Expect Part 2

And now, be sure to post some pictures! We can't wait to see what the little cottonball looks like!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Las Vegas, Nevada
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8 March 2010 - 1:27 pm
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WOOHOO!  I'm the resident leg deformity expert!  I may even get my own forum, “Ask the Leg Deformity Expert” !  Big Grin

——

AWWW, Grizlee's mom!  What a wonderful thing you are doing!  You'll be so glad you are taking him!  I can't express the joy and love I have for my Comet because it's so deep.  I can already hear it in your writing how much that little guy is going to mean to you!  Well, just wait until he loves you back!  It's just the BESTEST feeling!  Your life will be so much more enriched!  I really think Comet has made me a better person over the years.  I believe I'm not as self-absorbed.  (some here, may disagree!Wink)

Aside from what everyone here has said…

I would like to offer just a tiny warning about bringing your new baby into a new pack.   Be a little cautious at first with your other dogs.  Sometimes packs don't like lame dogs.  But since you have some naturally gentle-natured dogs, it probably won't even be an issue.  Plus, packs are more accepting of puppies anyway.  So, don't worry about.  I'm just offering up experience.  I wouldn't want you leave the little guy alone until you know for sure they are cool with a hoppity dog!  I had one dog, a boxer mix that didn't like Comet as a puppy. But I think it was more jealously since she was extremely close to me.  

Some dogs are even super protective of them.  I had an old chow that tried to keep the grumpy boxer mix dog away from Comet.  And then I had a shep mix (Rugby) that adored her and would get between her and people so no one would pet her (Comet is afraid of strangers, but that's because she came from a neglectful dog hoarder and was mistreated as a puppy!)

However, do not post puppy pics!  I will search you out and snatch your little guy!  (just kidding! I can't wait to see a pic and would love to see him grow!)  We have a lot of goldies on here that will become very attached!

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

Here and Now


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8 March 2010 - 2:58 pm
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goldenmomma said:

as for the joint supplements… at what point should i start him on them???

oh and by the way we decided last night to name him Grizlee…


Best to ask a vet for professional advice regarding any supplement regimen, but check the Tripawds Nutrition blog for loads of information and links to existing topics about recommended hip and joint supplements. You might also want to watch the third video in our CARE interview. In it, Dr. Waldman discusses joint supplements and when it might be best to start (or not).

We notice you started a new blog for grizlee and look forward to following his three legged adventures. Once you publish your first post we'll announce it in the new Tripawds Bloggers topic.

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8 March 2010 - 5:05 pm
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Thank you all… you are all so helpful!!!! my husband and I really do LOVE the little guy… both of my current dogs are great around puppies so I dont feel that bringing him home will cause too much of a disaster… although I can picture Nilla, my female golden, getting a little irritated when she figures out that he is not leaving!! ahahaha she will adapt too and I’m sure they will be inseperable!!
We are going to visit him on thursday so I will start the blog then so everyone can see pictures of him…
I can’t wait!!!smiley4

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8 March 2010 - 5:19 pm
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Hi and welcome to tripawds.  It sure sounds like Grizlee is going to a wonderful home with forever parents that will love him!  I know that he will bless your life as you bless his.

Debra & Angel Emily

Debra & Emily, a five year old doberman mix, who was diagnosed with an osteosaecoma. She had a right rear leg amputation on May 19, 2009. On November 10, 2009 she earned her wings and regained her fourth leg.

Madison, WI
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8 March 2010 - 8:00 pm
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Gerry is on Dasuquin to help keep his joints healthy for the years to come (he had his amputation due to injury in December and is about 2 years old). I heard about it first here as being a good supplement and found that Gerry's new vet recommended the very same when I just asked, without suggesting it myself, “Is there a supplement or something he could be on to protect his joints, given the extra stress of a missing leg?” Way to go, new vet!

Gerry loves the Dasuquin pills too. They're liver flavored and chewable – a piece of cake to get him to take.

Welcome to tripawds Grizlee and family!

Gerry has been a tripawd since 12/16/2009.

He was a shelter dog with a mysterious past and an irrepairable knee injury.

Videos and pics of Gerry's pawesomeness can be found at: http://gerry.tripawds.com

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8 March 2010 - 8:37 pm
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GerrysMom said:

Gerry is on Dasuquin to help keep his joints healthy for the years to come (he had his amputation due to injury in December and is about 2 years old). I heard about it first here as being a good supplement and found that Gerry's new vet recommended the very same when I just asked, without suggesting it myself, “Is there a supplement or something he could be on to protect his joints, given the extra stress of a missing leg?” Way to go, new vet!

Gerry loves the Dasuquin pills too. They're liver flavored and chewable – a piece of cake to get him to take.


I've seen recently where Dasuquin now comes in “soft chews”, too … just to throw that out there.  (I don't believe Dasuquin w/ MSM does, though.)

Congrats on Grizlee … cannot wait to see pics!!  Smile

-Gwen & Harley

Amputation on 11/10/09, due to Histiocytic Sarcoma in left elbow. Angel Harley earned his wings on 06/24/10.

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8 March 2010 - 10:04 pm
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THANKS AGAIN EVERYONE!!!!smiley9

and I just couldn’t resist starting a blog… I posted pics of Griz’s soon-to-be brother and sister!!! I know I’m in for some major mischeif!!!smiley3

Las Vegas, Nevada
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9 March 2010 - 10:30 am
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It really sounds like a match made in heaven!

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

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9 March 2010 - 2:59 pm
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Grizlee sounds just like my little Peggy!  The day she was born the breeder called me to see if we would take her, we have 2 other dogs from her and she knew we'd be the perfect family for lilttle Peg.  She's 7 months old now and the toughest fiestiest little thing ever.  However, she still can't go up stairs.  We've tried putting a treat on each stair, but she just won't go up. 

She beats up her brothers non stop!  The vet doesn't worry about her at all and she has no other health problems.  Her leg goes right to her elbow too.  She used it more when she was little, but as she's been growing she doesn't use it as much.  It just hangs.  She still holds toys and rawhides with her other paw.  She is a super fast runner.  When she's running you can't tell there's anything wrong.  When she walks you can tell though, she does the Peggy hop.  She's just a little angel and I love her so much.  I'll be happy to answer any other questions you have as it sounds we're in exactly the same situation. 

Here is a closeup of her sweet face.

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And here she is with her brothers. 

Image Enlarger

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12 March 2010 - 7:29 pm
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oh my goodness how sweet little Peggy is!!! you guys are all sooo wonderful on here!!!! its like a great big 2 & 3 legged family!!! we went and visited my little man today!!! and i posted some pictures for you!!! and NO Comets Mom you cannot have him, he is very much MINE!!!!!hahaicon_lol check out the blog for updates on our little GRIZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!
http://grizlee……pawds.com/

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